The Huffington Post’s Mayhill Fowler reports that, at that same San Francisco fundraiser where Obama revealed his previously unknown college sojourn to Pakistan, the junior senator from Illinois seemed to try to get inside the mind of small towners in Pennsylvania, with a dose of sociology and a dollop of dime-store psychology.
"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them," Obama said. "And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
It seems to me that this comment could be interpreted fairly easily as dismissing people who hold views on guns, or religion, or immigration, or trade because they believe in those views — and not because they’re "bitter" or lashing back at a system that has discarded them.